You’ve just been told you’re relocating. Next on the list is readying your home for sale, which often includes some repairs. What to fix, how much to invest, and how extensive the repairs are perennial questions that plagued homeowners.
TRC Global Mobility offers these suggestions:
Home inspection: Doing a home inspection before a house goes on the market shows prospective buyers that you care for your home and have kept up on maintenance. Fix any repairs the inspector finds, and document this in any sales literature.
Paint: A fresh coat of a muted or neutral-color paint will make your house sparkle. It’s also a great opportunity to remove family pictures from your walls and fill in the nail holes, giving the new homeowners a clean slate on which to decorate. If your home has lots of open areas, paint them in the same color. In bedrooms, choose muted blues, greens or yellows.
Wallpaper and paneling: Wallpaper is coming back, but chances are prospective buyers will not like your wallpaper. Remove it and paint. If paneling is a laminate, remove it and paint. If it’s real wood, a coat of light paint can make the room seem more modern.
Textured ceilings: Any textured ceiling screams 1950, ’60, ’70 or ’80! It really must go. If the popcorn has a sparkle, there is a chance it contains asbestos, which requires removal by a professional.
Floors: Nothing says “yuck” like an old or stained carpet. If the carpet can be cleaned, hire a professional cleaning service. If it needs to be replaced, do so, in a neutral color. If your home has hardwood floors under wall-to-wall, pull up the carpet and refinish the floors. Cracked tiles need to be replaced. Old, worn or torn vinyl flooring is another turn-off that needs to be replaced with a neutral vinyl.
Kitchens and baths: If you watch House Hunters on HGTV, you know that kitchens and baths sell homes. Prospective buyers zone in on laminate countertops, complaining that they really want granite. But granite is expensive, and often a new laminate, sparkling sink and new faucet are all that is needed to make the kitchen or bath come to life. If your cabinets are in good shape but just old, a resurfacing can do wonders. Painted cabinets should get a fresh coat of paint. Sometimes, just replacing the hardware can be magic. Light fixtures and old medicine cabinets are also simple redos. Remodeling Magazine brings some good news: Mid-range or minor kitchen and bath remodels return more money than high-end ones.
Exterior: If your driveway is old, a resurfacing will bring it back to life. Replace broken bricks or stones in walkways and patch any cracked cement. If paint is chipped or old on your house or fences, repaint. If your deck looks worn, apply stain. Critically look at your home’s curb appeal, since first impressions are a huge selling point.
One final thought: Replace your welcome mat. Nothing says “I’m home” more than a new mat.